Citizen scientists unable to view encounter submission in Flukebook

In which Wildbook did the issue occur? Flukebook

What operating system were you using? MacOS 11.6

What web browser were you using? Google Chrome

What is your role on the site? researcher/administrator

What happened? I wanted to check that if a citizen scientist uploaded a photo for an encounter submission that they would have the ability to see their submission and check in on it. I received the email with the link to the encounter submission, and the email states:

"We will use your information to assist a global community of researchers and citizen scientists working to better understand and protect the dolphins and whales of the world.

Your encounter link:

The information that you have submitted represents an encounter that we track. Each encounter is assigned a unique number, and you can view that encounter at any time using the link above or by going to Flukebook. We will keep you informed of any changes to your submitted encounter and email you if the whale is matched to another one within this Wildbook database. We will also let you know if/when and where your animal is resighted by other community members."

However, when I click on the link it makes me sign in to Flukebook before I can see the encounter I submitted, because I am requesting something of “higher privileges”. Citizens won’t have a Flukebook login, and we only want them to be able to see the photos they post, not have access to our entire catalog so I don’t want to make them all collaborators.

Unless each citizen has to make their own profile through Flukebook? Where they can only see their submissions… I am not sure if that’s what we need to tell people to do?

What did you expect to happen? I expected to get the email with the encounter link, and I expected to be able to view the photos I (acting as a citizen scientist) had submitted to “help out science”.

What are some steps we could take to reproduce the issue? Submit a photo as an encounter submission without being logged in and see if you can access the link you are sent about your encounter without having to login to Flukebook.

If this is a bulk import report, send the spreadsheet to with the email subject line matching your bug report

Hi @CassieWDP, welcome!

Thank you for letting us know. I’ve heard similar reports about public submissions to Internet of Turtles and Spot-a-Shark USA. In short, our Silo Security model is working a little too well on some Wildbooks and prevents citizen scientists from viewing their submitted encounters.

We’re currently tracking this issue though this ticket: Encounter confirmation emails are the same for registered users and the public · Issue #295 · WildMeOrg/Wildbook · GitHub

In the meantime, we plan on updating the submission confirmation email templates to clarify that links may not be accessible without an account.

Hi Anastasia,

Thank you for taking a look. I will follow that other ticket that is tracking the issue.

But in regards to your last statement about “email templates to clarigy that links may not be accessible without and account”…so each citizen would then need to have an account to access their submissions? Can just anyone create and account? Or do they need to be a collaborator on a project?

We’re still working on which phrasing will eventually be used, but new accounts are limited to researchers. All new users are screened to verify their research affiliations.

Ultimately, public submissions will be viewable by anyone with a direct link, but until we can fix that issue the point of updating the email is to make it clearer that they may not be able to view the link unless they’re a researcher with an account.

Oh ok. So eventually citizens without an account will be able to view their links, but to avoid confusion in the mean time the email will say they may not be able to view it?

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Yes, that’s correct. Sorry for not explaining it more clearly earlier.

That’s ok. Thank you for your help!

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HI @CassieWDP

I wanted to follow up to let you know that submissions from the public are no longer hidden behind a login, so submitters can view their encounter links from their confirmation emails without needing an account to do so.

Hi Anastasia,

Thank you so much for taking care of this! I tried to respond to say thanks earlier but was doing it through email and it wasn’t going through!

I checked and it does work!

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